The team at Bishop Builders has helped many families with construction and contracting needs in North Texas in the aftermath of catastrophic events. Damages from tornadoes, wind, fire, storms...we've seen in all. One thing that is clear is that preparing the best you can from these kinds of events can really be helpful in the aftermath.
In order to process and get the benefits you pay for from your homeowner's insurance it is pertinent to document, document, document. This can't be understated. The more proof you have of the state of your home and belongings before the damage is done, the better.
Although it may sound overwhelming, taking a couple of hours out of your day can really save you a lot of headaches...and money...down the road. Here are our tips for documenting your possessions for insurance claims and a downloadable spreadsheet to help.
The Importance of Documentation
A thorough inventory of your possessions serves as a bridge between loss and recovery. This documentation provides tangible evidence of the items you owned and their value, making it easier for your insurance company to assess the extent of your losses.
Creating a Comprehensive List
Begin by creating a comprehensive list of all your belongings. This includes furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and even smaller items like kitchen utensils and decor.
Want a template to help you with this? Here's a spreadsheet for documenting your belongings.
Descriptions and Details
For each item on your list, provide detailed descriptions. Include information such as brand, model, serial number, purchase date, and any other relevant details that help paint a clear picture of the item's value and characteristics.
Valuing Your Possessions
Assign a value to each item on your inventory. This value should reflect the cost of replacing the item with a similar one in today's market. Research online or consult experts to ensure your valuations are accurate.
Photographs and Videos
Accompany your written inventory with photographs and videos. Capture images of each item from multiple angles, ensuring that distinctive features are documented. These visual records serve as powerful evidence of ownership and condition.
Organizing Your Inventory
Organize your inventory in a structured manner, grouping items by category and providing a clear reference for each item's location. This organization makes it easier for both you and your insurer to navigate the inventory.
While physical records are valuable, consider digitizing your inventory as well. Store digital copies in a secure cloud service, ensuring that your efforts are backed up and accessible even in the event of further disasters.
Keep Receipts and Proof of Purchase
Whenever possible, include receipts, invoices, or proof of purchase alongside your inventory. These documents provide additional evidence of ownership and the value you've assigned to your belongings.
Your inventory isn't a static document—it's a living record that should be updated regularly. As you acquire new items or dispose of old ones, ensure your inventory remains accurate and up to date.
Creating a detailed inventory of your possessions requires time and effort, but it's a vital step in the insurance claims process. By providing descriptions, valuations, photographs, videos, organized records, digital backups, proof of purchase, and regular updates, you lay the groundwork for fair compensation and a smoother recovery journey.
Remember, while we can't control the forces of nature, we can control how well we prepare and respond. With the right information, resources, and determination, we can face the uncertainties with confidence, ensuring the safety of our loved ones and the resilience of our communities.